Laboratory Administration
Leading / Interfacing
Leading / Connecting in the hospital or healthcare system

Author: Richard Horowitz, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 25 January 2017, last major update April 2013

Copyright: (c) 2003-2017, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: healthcare system[title]
Cite this page: Leading / Connecting in the hospital or healthcare system. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/managementlableadershiphospital.html. Accessed March 24th, 2017.
Introduction
  • Because the pathologist laboratory director is responsible for the overall operation of the laboratory, including assurance of quality and budgetary prudence, there must be a good working relationship with the administration of the hospital or healthcare system
  • The pathologist will necessarily interact with many department, including nursing, human resources, finance, purchasing and information technology
  • The pathologist (and the laboratory) will report to, and be accountable to the hospital administration is some way
  • Thus the pathologist must be able to deal with these non-physicians, be familiar with their nomenclature and know how to use their services to help the laboratory achieve excellence
Prerequisites
  • Knowledge of health care economics
  • Empathy toward the problems faced by hospital administration
  • Knowledge of hospital organization
  • Regularly scheduled, monthly, formal meeting with the administrator in charge of the Laboratory with an agenda that includes: review of workload, revenue, budget variance and productivity; there should be discussion of needs, problems, incidents, any awards received or papers published
  • The pathologist should establish rapport (professional and social) with the COO, CEO and CFO and with key people in the sponsoring organization, e.g., religious order, municipal or county boards and governing bodies
Some Things to Do
  • Conduct daily "administrative" rounds - walk by the offices of the various administrators, just to say "hello" or to see if they want to get a cup of coffee - or at least say "hello" to their secretaries
  • Maintain a high level of visibility; continually remind administration how critical you are to the operation of one of their largest departments in terms of overall management responsibility, test selection, assurance of quality, result interpretation, adherence to regulations, medical-legal responsibility and cost control
  • Prepare an Annual Report of the laboratory's activities, demonstrating that the pathologist is indispensable
  • Participate in the laboratory and hospital budgeting process
  • Participate in hospital committees such as Utilization Review, Joint Commission Inspections, Purchasing, Information Technology
  • Participate in hospital events, e.g. Christmas parties for employees
  • Volunteer to be active in, and contribute to fund raising campaigns
  • Conduct nursing "rounds" - visit each nursing station in the hospital at least once a month to find out if the laboratory services are satisfactory; this establishes a relationship between the pathologist and the rest of the hospital; take the chief tech with you - the nurses and the doctors you encounter will see who is in charge and the chief tech can implement needed changes; report both problems and compliments back to the laboratory personnel
  • Volunteer for in-service educational programs for nurses and other hospital personnel, e.g. seminar for chaplains regarding autopsies
  • Volunteer to be the medical information officer for the hospitals information system - no physician is better suited than the pathologist to fill this role since the pathologist is an expert in computers, automation, QC and QA as well as disease and practice management